MEMPHIS, Tenn.– A Memphis rapper was spreading some holiday cheer by offering words of encouragement to some high school students on Wednesday.
Westwood High’s auditorium was filled with smiles and laughter Wednesday afternoom as students were given a concert from Memphis hip-hop pioneer Al Kapone.
A product of Shelby County Schools, the rapper came by to motivate students heading into the adulthood.
“Focus on doing what you got to do improve your life and not fall into the traps that a lot of us fall into.. coming from the hood,” he said.
He also showcased his classics and Memphis’ own dance style of jookin.
Students like senior Tory Tucker and 11th grader Justice Morris said his words hit home because he’s a reflection of the community.
“What he represents to me is somebody who can make. He made it out of Memphis so you can make it out of anywhere,” Tucker said.
“I feel inspired because usually you don’t hear about a lot of people from Memphis making it big,” Morris said.
Al Kapone was invited by ProGeny Place to reward students in the Jobs for TN Graduates program for their hardwork.
The group’s CEO said they invite people from all career paths to speak to students, but it’s important to recognize the positive contributions from hip-hop artists.
“We know individuals in hip-hop are who are children are aspiring to be some of them want to be astronauts but some of them want to be hiphop stars.. lets’s just be honest.. so if we’re going to do that we got to create the right pathways for them to get there,” Al Kapone said.
With the passing of Yound Dolph, Al Kapone said it’s important for local community changers to continue to pay it forward.
“I love the way Dolph did everything he did to give back and go into into the community and spread his level of success around.. thats’ another reason it’s devastating to lose somebody like that,” he said.
For senior Mya Bynum who has hopes of being an OBGYN, guests are making a difference.
“They help me realize that.. no matter what anybody say.. something I want to be.. I can become just that,” Bynum said.